It was one of those serene autumn afternoons where the sun was shining making the day comfortably warm. Chloe had graduated last spring and the two women had finally managed to set a date and time to meet up after having not seen each other since the new school year had started for Beca.
The auditions for the empty slots in the acapella groups had been held that a few weeks after the seniors graduated as the interest in joining had skyrocketed since The Barden Bellas finally claimed their first win at nationals that year after three years of trying and not making it.
"Where do you live now?" Beca inquired, resting her head on Chloe's shoulder.
"I live in an apartment around here with Aubrey," she smiled, twirling strands of Beca's hazel brown hair around her finger. "If you're not doing anything today and want to, you can come by and see it for yourself," Chloe offered.
"Sure, I'm down for that," Beca accepted. "Now?"
"Now," the redhead said getting up with a smile. She offered Beca a hand and pulled her to her feet once the woman had bent over to retrieve her half-finished coffee, picking it up by the plastic top.
However, as the brunette stood up, her drink slipped from her grip, spilling the now luke warm coffee all over her shirt.
"Shit!" Beca hissed, trying to shake off the drink from her hand. That was definitely going to leave a stain if she didn't wash it soon.
"You can throw that into the washer when we get to my place," Chloe said as she squatted down to get the cup.
"Judging from the mess and piles of clothes in there, I'm going to assume it's safe to guess that's your room," Beca pointed to the bedroom that had pale blue painted walls; the door open enough that the brunette could see the collection of clothes with a purse among the small cluster sitting on the bed.
"Of course that one's hers," Aubrey laughed, appearing in the doorway of her room.
"No need to rub it in," Chloe reprimanded the blonde, but the smile on her face undermined the whole reason the redhead had used serious tone.
"Some things never change," Beca gave a small shrug, flashing Chloe a playful grin.
"I'm going to be in my room if you need me," Aubrey said disappearing as quickly as she had made her presence known.
"'Kay," both Beca and Chloa replied in unison,
"Oh be quiet," Chloe shushed turning to the brunette. "Take off your shirt," she ordered.
"Sorry, no free shows," Beca smirked. "Besides, if Aubrey walks out, she might get the wrong idea."
"That's not what I meant and you know it," the redhead sighed, the corners of her lips tugging up into a sly grin. "And I'm sure she noticed coffee too, so it's not like I'm trying to have sex with you. Well, not right here in the living room," Chloe added with a laugh. Though the tone in her voice had changed taking on a subtle rasp to it as it dropped in volume, becoming more hushed.
"Chloe!" Beca exclaimed, nodding towards Aubrey's door, certain that the blonde could hear them.
"What? Aubrey? She's probably got her headphones in," the redhead replied casually. "Now, your shirt. Don't make me take it off for you," she leaned over and purred into Beca's ear.
"Okay, okay," the Beca hissed playfully pushing Chloe away. "Where's the bathroom?"
"The door off the living room there," Chloe gestured toward a white wood door to the other woman's right.
Beca walked over to where the redhead had pointed to; she opened the door and stepped inside. Just as she had pulled her shirt over her head, Chloe barged in.
"Oh my god! Chloe! You can't just walk in on people like that!" Beca shouted, trying to cover herself.
"You're wearing a bra, so it's not like you're completely exposed. And I already know what you look like," Chloe rolled her eyes. "This isn't the first time it's happened. And you're the only one this has happened to. Twice."
"Which is why you should knock first or something before you come in," the brunette added with a shrill tone, hoping Chloe would leave, but the other woman didn't move an inch. "And now I'm getting the feeling you purposely didn't knock," Beca sighed.
"You're right," Chloe took a step towards the other woman, "I did mean to," she slowly took hold of Beca's shirt, easing it from the woman's hand and their faces close enough that they could feel the other's breath.
Chloe leaned in more, enough that their lips were just out of distance from touching.
"I'll go get you some towels," the redhead flashed Beca an ardent grin, suddenly pulling away, Beca's shirt in her hand.
"That's was pure evil!" Beca shot back, her face blazed with a fuchsia coloured blush and slammed the door closed behind Chloe.
The brunette could hear the nefarious laughter of other woman as she turned on the shower and let out a frustrated sigh.
"Here are the towels, and your shirt's in the wash," Chloe announced, walking into the bathroom. "And I knew you were in the shower, so I know I wouldn't have seen anything," she added.
"You should still knock!" Beca yelled.
"Are you mad?" Chloe teased her, poking her head around the shower curtain.
The brunette's eyes flew open when she heard the curtain being flung back. "God, Chloe! What are you doing?" She sputtered, grabbing the curtain and wrapped it around herself. "Jesus, I swear, I think you like to see me naked sometimes!"
"You make it more fun when you react this way," Chloe stated with a desirous smile. She pulled on the curtain that the brunette was gripping, causing her to stumble forward, which in turn forced her to let go lest she wanted to pull the curtain down with her. Chloe caught the brunette, who instinctively hooked her arms around the redhead's waist, and gave the woman a kiss.
"You're just mean," Beca grumbled.
"But you're so fun to tease," Chloe whispered into her ear.
Beca only huffed in response. "You're getting wet," she said, feeling the water drum down on her arms.
"Is it that obvious?" The redhead asked, slinking a hand up Beca's side.
"You're just like Stacie," Beca groaned, grabbing the other woman's hand before it could move any further up her body.
"Except unlike Stacie, I've only been after one person for a while," Chloe countered.
"You're so full of yourself," Beca shook her head, though her lips turned upward into a loving smile and leaned in to give the other woman a kiss.
"But you love it," Chloe hummed, daring to step into the shower.
The brunette pulled her arms away from where they rested on either of Chloe's shoulders. She took a few very small paces back to give the other woman some space even though the redhead had more than half the shower space behind her unlike she did. "At least take your clothes off so I don't feel even more naked," Beca sighed, crossing her arms.
"No need to tell me twice," Chloe gave a sultry grin, "I wasn't planning on keeping them on anyway." She stripped, dropping her now drenched clothes in a heap on the furry bathroom rug, and backed Beca up against the wall, one arm placed above the burnette's head as she wasted no time in covering the other woman in hot kisses.
Beca couldn't believe this was finally happening. For a long time - since she laid eyes on the redhead - she had been completely blown away by Chloe's beauty; the woman's personality only solidifying the fact for Beca that she was hopelessly attracted to her.
She snaked her arms around Chloe's waist, pulling her closer. The redhead responded by biting down on Beca's neck and gave it a hard suck as she swirled her tongue on the other women's flesh as it quickly turned into a pomegranate red.
"Hey!" Beca gasped, "Someone's going to see that later!" Though her voice protested against Chloe's actions, she made no physical attempt to stop the other woman as she relished the feeling of Chloe's tongue on her.
"You can cover it with those giant headphones you wear all the time. Or a scarf or something," Chloe laughed. She knew perfectly well that Beca was really enjoying it; if her intuition alone wasn't enough to prove it, then the small groans that escaped the brunette's mouth confirmed her pleasure.
The redhead's free hand skimmed down the dip in Beca's back, following the groove in the middle where her spine was. She gave the other woman's ass a squeeze, evoking the sound of a very turn-on whimper from Beca, before her hand glided down the slippery skin of the brunette's leg. Snaking her fingers around to the front, Chloe's hand continued on, coasting up the other woman's inner thigh, until it reached Beca's already tight, wet cunt.
"You're soaked," the redhead gave a low, threatening snicker.
"W-well, we are in the shower," Beca pointed out the obvious.
"But that's not why you're so wet," Chloe insisted, pressing her body up against the other woman's as she thrust her fingers inside Beca's wet folds.
The brunette's nostrils flared; she sharply inhaled, closing her eyes, which rolled back slightly, as a fervid sensation engulfed her.
Chloe was, of course, very pleased with how she was able to get Beca to react to her and yet something didn't feel right. After many long months of pursuing the other woman, flirting with her at every chance she got, the redhead was beginning to get a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. A feeling of dread and doubt spread throughout her body like poison. Chloe wanted Beca, she knew this, she wanted Beca to herself more than anything. So why was it the more she kissed the brunette - the more she touched her - the terrible feeling settled inside her? The redhead didn't want to Beca to worry, afraid she had done something wrong to cause her to feel this way, so Chloe continued, pretending nothing changed.
Beca finally reached orgasm - it tore through her body as she let out a long, guttural moan. She slumped against Chloe who held the brunette close to her, kissing her head. The redhead needed the other woman to leave so she could attempt to sort out her screaming thoughts - her confusion with Beca at the source of it all, but she knew if she asked the brunette to leave, she'd raise suspicion. She would have to play it cool for the rest of the time that Beca decided to stick around, which, unfortunately for Chloe, could've been for the rest of the day.
"I love you," Chloe heard faintly through the chaos in her head. "What?" She asked, startled, not entirely sure if she was hearing things or misheard Beca.
"I love you," Beca repeated herself, this time more hesitantly. Chloe's surprise made the brunette that it could be completely possible that the other woman didn't feel the same way, but... That was impossible. It was so clear to not just herself, but to everyone, that Chloe wanted her.
"Chloe..?" She asked softly, the redhead stood frozen in her place, staring at her.
"Sorry, I'm sorry," Chloe said, shaking her head, the ginger tendrils of hair bobbing gently. "I... Beca, I..."
It only took a second before Beca realized what was happening. Chloe could be many things, but subtle wasn't one of them, at least not now. "Are you serious?" Beca asked in disbelief. "We just had sex," she hissed angrily, not wanting to raise her voice in fear that Aubrey would hear even though the blonde was on the other side of the apartment, with the whole living room, the bathroom door and her own bedroom door to separate them.
"Beca... I'm sorry. I swear I thought I loved you," Chloe begged for the other woman to understand, not wanting to hurt her, or at least keep the hurt to a minimum.
But what she saw reflected back in Beca's eyes was beyond the sting of rejection. Beca was crushed. She fell for Chloe - hard, and now the redhead was backing out after everything they had been through.
"Thinking isn't enough," Beca did her best not to raise her voice, but it was proving a difficult task as hot anger rushed through her veins. "You needed to know this before we had sex, Chloe. You strung me along all this time. Did you even ever want me?" The brunette growled, her voice strained as she tried to keep herself from yelling. The sting of tears burned the back of her eyes, and before she could even try to stop it, they were streaming down her face. Beca felt betrayed - she felt as if her heart had just been ripped out from her chest and stomped on until it bled on the floor with no way of stopping it. "You lied to me," she hissed again, her voice low and threatening.
"Beca, I'm sorry! I really didn't mean... I did want you! I just... I don't know what happened," Chloe pleaded, trying desperately trying to reason with the other woman, but in vain.
"Sorry isn't going to cut it, Chloe. You strung me along all this time, making me fall for you just to hear you say it wasn't real," Beca pulled on her clothes briskly as Chloe wrapped herself in a towel that hung on a hook on the wall.
"Beca, please!" The redhead begged, following her out of the bathroom.
"Please what? You've made it clear where you stand in the matter. You're not interested despite the impression you gave me," Beca growled, still trying to keep her voice from getting too loud because she really didn't nee Aubrey getting involved right now - at least not while she was there.
Once Chloe had shut the door, she walked numbly back to her room, closing herself inside. She collapsed onto her bed and burst into tears. The last thing she had ever wanted was to hurt Beca. The brunette meant everything to her, but she couldn't force herself to feel something she didn't believe she felt. Chloe feared that this was it - that Beca would never speak to again and their friendship was permanently ruined.
Back at the dorm, Beca found herself outside of Jesse's room. She hoped he'd open to talking even though they left things pretty bitter between each other when Beca broke up with him to be (or at least had hoped) with Chloe.
"Oh, hey," he said cracking his door open just enough to see who was knocking.
"Can we talk?" Beca asked nervously. She was sure he would slam the door in her face at any second.
"Uh..." Jesse glanced back behind him. "Hey Benji, mind if Beca comes in?"
"That's fine. I was just about to go out anyway, so I'll be out of you guys' way," he chirped, gathering up some notebooks and shoving them into his backpack.
"Sorry if I'm bothering you," Beca said to him, glancing back at Jesse who was closing the door.
"No, no it's fine. I have a club meeting to get to anyway," Benji said. "I'll see you later at practice, Jesse. Nice seeing you!" He flashed Beca a smile before disappearing out the door.
"What's up?" Jesse asked her, taking a seat on the edge of his bed.
"I wanted to apologize for how things ended between us. I'm sorry, and I know I should've told you before when I realized that I was no longer feeling the same way about you as I had in the beginning."
"Yeah, you should've," Jesse muttered.
"And I'm still sorry about that - I always will be. But I was thinking that maybe we could go back to being friends? I miss you," Beca sighed. Even if he had said no, it was nice having spoken to the guy at least one last time because even though things didn't work out, she'd always considered him a good friend.
"Friends would be nice; I've missed you too," Jesse smiled, giving her a hug.
They sat in silence for a few minutes after they had pulled away. He glanced over at Beca who had a weary though solemn expression on her face.
"What's bothering you?" He asked.
"Huh? Oh nothing," Beca said, forcing herself to smile.
"I know it's nothing, otherwise you wouldn't let it trouble you," Jesse pointed out.
"It's Chloe," the brunette finally said after a pause. She wanted to tell him all about the other woman, but she knew this would also mean explaining to Jesse the real reason why she stopped having an interest in him. After having just gotten him back as a friend, the last thing Beca needed was to lose him right away.
"What about her?" Jesse pressed, urging the woman to continue.
"Well, first, I'm gay. I didn't realize until..." She stopped mid-sentence yet again. "I guess I should first start with the reason why I stopped liking you was because I fell for Chloe, which was also when I realized I was also into other girls. I mean, I've been physically attracted to other guys before, but there wasn't ever a strong enough connection for me to want to date any of them. So when we started spending time together and I felt more strongly about you than I had for any other guy I've ever met, I really believed I liked you as more than a friend and I thought that my crush would turn into love as it had for you. However, I've always been attracted to other girls enough that sometimes I wished I could date them. But I always figured they were all just girl crushes and didn't really mean anything; I didn't even consider the fact that I might be gay. And so when I met Chloe and found myself becoming really drawn to her, I assumed it was another girl crush. Yet she somehow ended up blowing me away. I fell for her, Jesse. I fell hard. Maybe I'm even in love with her. But that doesn't matter now because it's over - whatever we had is over. After we had sex, she got cold feet and backed out. It's as if she strung me along this whole time with no intention of ever really dating me - that I was just being used and it really hurt - it still does," when she finally reached the end of her last sentence she leaned forward resting her arms on her knees as she took in everything she had just admitted to Jesse, who also took a moment to let everything she had just said sink in.
Beca normally wouldn't have ever told anyone about having sex and with whom, but Jesse was her best friend and knew he'd be understanding. And there was no other way that Beca could find to better describe her situation without saying that she and the other woman had sex.
"Now that I understand more of why you broke up with me, I feel more relieved. I was afraid you broke up with me because of something I did, but wouldn't say what. If you had told me all of this then, I doubt I'd have gotten nearly as upset as I did. And now it seems as if you're in the position I was in. But anyway," Jesse quickly added, no longer wanting to dwell on the bitter ending to his and Beca's relationship, "It really does sound like you love her. Have you both spoken since?"
"No," the brunette let out a heavy groan, as if she even dread the idea of doing such a thing. "I left in a rush and we were both angry at each other, so..."
"Maybe you should try talking to her; hear her side of the story," Jesse suggested.
"It's too late, we don't talk anymore now," she muttered.
"It's not too late, Beca. You can still talk to her, and maybe if you knew her reasoning for backing out, you might be able to feel a better sense of closure," he suggested.
"Maybe, but I don't want to be the first to talk to her," Beca huffed.
"Well... I think you should, but there's nothing I can do if you choose not to," he shrugged and checked the time. "Hey, I actually have a lab I have to get to, so I hate to leave you now, but I have to."
"It's fine," Beca smiled. "Thanks for listening to me."
"Of course, I'm happy to. You still have my number, right? We can text and set up a time to meet up and continue this conversation or not after I finish," Jesse offered.
"Thanks, but I think I'm just going to spend the rest of the day working on some remixes," the brunette smiled back at him. "But thank you for the offer. Maybe I'll take you up on it next time." She got up from her seat on his bed headed out the door, back to her room.
In the weeks that followed, Chloe didn't try to reconnect with Beca and Beca made no effort to do the same. It was strange for them both because they were so used to texting and calling each other all the time that the sudden silence scared them. They both checked their phones frequently every day just to see if the other had tried to get in touch, but there was nothing. They didn't dare delete the other from their contacts because that would feel like deleting apart of themselves. As much as both of them hated to admit it, they had become a big part of each other's life.
They did, however, still pass each other as Chloe and Aubrey's apartment was nearby, though neither of them gave so much as a quick glance before passing the other. Most of the time, if they saw the other in the distance, they'd look down or away, completely avoiding eye contact and pretend to be complete strangers. Beca couldn't help but notice, however, every time that she passed Chloe, (which had been three times in two months), there was a new guy on her arm. The jealously that teared through Beca's body every time, causing her blood to boil, was so intense that she always forced to clench her jaw just to prevent herself from saying something in front of them.
Finally, when Beca caught Chloe alone without any male accompaniment, she confronted the redhead. She hadn't even meant to, but her words poured out of her mouth like vomit - rapidly and uncontrollable.
"Why do you go through guys so often?" Beca asked more aggressively than she had intended.
"Excuse me?" Chloe whipped around to face the brunette. How dare Beca question whom she chose to date. "I can date whomever I want, Beca. You're not my girlfriend," she shot back.
The sting from the woman's last remark caused Beca to wince. "Well you wouldn't have to go through so many guys if you would've just given me a chance," the brunette rebuked.
"Are you serious right now? I told you I was sorry, Beca! I can't love you - I don't and I'm sorry that you fell for me! I didn't mean to make you feel betrayed or used or that I was intentionally stringing you along because that's not what I meant to happen. I do care about you, Beca, and whether you believe it or not, hurting you was the last thing I would ever want to do," Chloe's voice cracked as she could feel tears well up in her eyes, making her vision start to blur.
"It doesn't matter if you didn't want to hurt me or not. You did," Beca countered. She could feel her tears start to pool in her eyes as well before they spilled over when she blinked.
This was exactly how things ended between her and Jesse except that she was in Chloe's position and Jesse was in hers. Now she understood why he had been so upset.
"I don't know what more you want me to say!" Chloe exclaimed frustratedly, the tears pouring down her face. "I'm tired of looking like the bad guy here. I keep apologizing to you, but you won't accept it, and that's fine. But if you're going to do that then please stop making me say it over and over. Stop making us relive it all. I'm sorry, Becca, and that's the last time I'm going to say it, but I will always be sorry," the redhead let out a vexed sigh. "I can't keep doing this, Beca. I have to go," she said before hurrying away, trying to get back to her apartment as she continuously wiped her eyes in vain as the tears showed no signs of stopping any time soon.
When Chloe opened the door to her apartment Aubrey was sitting on the sofa with a bunch of sheet music and flow charts spread neatly across the coffee table.
"Hey what happened?" Aubrey was out of her seat in an instant as she rushed over to her friend's side.
"It's nothing," the redhead said, sniffing.
"If it were nothing you wouldn't be crying about it," Aubrey pointed out. She gave a gentle pull on Chloe's hand, leading her over to their couch where they sat down.
"It's Beca," Chloe muttered between sniffles and a few hic-ups.
"I figured as much," the blonde replied with a sympathetic sigh.
"You did? How?" Chloe asked surprised as she hadn't really mentioned Beca excessively to Aubrey, only bringing Beca up a casual amount and only in passing.
"Because whenever her names comes up in our conversations you light up. It's not hard to see," she gave the redhead an empathetic smile. "Anyway, continue on with what you were going to say," Aubrey urged.
"I ran into her today, as I sometimes do, but this time instead of ignoring me as she usually does, she started to talk to me, but she was angry. She asked me why I was always dating a different guy when we passed each other on the street, which happened three times within the past two months," she sighed, trying to calm her breathing as her hic-ups became less frequent.
Aubrey passed the other woman a box of tissues that sat on the corner of the table to wipe her eyes and blow her nose with as she pulled Chloe into a hug.
"She was so angry, Aubrey. I've never seen Beca this mad before," Chloe started to cry again.
"It's okay, keep going," Aubrey asked again, giving the redhead a squeeze of reassurance.
"Beca won't let go of the fact that I can't be with her. She's made it very clear that she's jealous and upset and-" Chloe began to list Beca's emotions when the blonde cut her off.
"Why can't you be with Beca?" Aubrey was well aware of Chloe's feelings for Beca and she was sure that Chloe, of course, knew as well, but now the blonde was beginning to doubt it.
"Because I don't like her that way," Chloe rolled her eyes as if it were the most obvious fact in the world.
"Yes you do," Aubrey persisted, causing Chloe to pull away from her, acting like the blonde had said something offensive.
"What are you talking about? You know I flirt with both women and men, but it's men that I date," Chloe tried to convince the other woman, but in vain.
"Then why did you two have sex in the shower that day she came over?" Aubrey hadn't wanted to tell the redhead that she knew all about her and Beca's raunchy escapade in the shower, but if Chloe insisted that she had no feelings towards Beca other than friendship, then she would remind the woman of the incident.
"You know? How do you know?!" Chloe yelped.
"Because I came out of my room and I noticed you weren't there. Your bedroom door was also open, so I could see you weren't there either. I heard the shower going and knew Beca was there and that was the last place left for you to be. That and I could hear you both talking from the living room," Aubrey explained. "Neither of you are that quiet."
"Oh..." Chloe muttered, a rush of warmth filling her cheeks. "But that doesn't mean I like her!" She quickly added. "I thought I did, but I don't."
"That is the biggest lie I've ever heard," Aubrey shook her head. "It's so blatantly obvious you love her, just as she loves you. But I've seen her and Jesse spending a lot of time together lately. I don't know if it's already happened or not, but I think they may be getting back together, though I'm not entirely sure. I'd make a move and soon, Chloe, unless you really want to let Beca slip through your fingers - something you may regret for the rest of your life. You two are perfect for each other, but you need to acknowledge and accept you love her," the blonde spoke calmly even though she could see the rage flash in Chloe's eyes from everything she was saying.
"I told you, Aubrey. I do not love Beca!" Chloe shouted as their front door banged shut.
Meanwhile, Beca had just arrived back on campus, her head hung low with her hair acting as a curtain as it hid half her face. She walked as a brisk pace, trying to get back to her dorm (and she hoped her room mate, Stacie, would be out) before anyone else she knew might see her. Beca just wanted to shut herself in her room, put on her headphones and drown out the rest of the world. Of course, since that's what she was hoping for, luck would have it another way.
"Hey. Hey, Beca!" Stacie called to her, jogging to catch up with the brunette. "What's got you down?"
"What?" Beca asked. "Nothing, I'm fine," she replied, flashing the taller woman a smile. But Stacie wasn't fooled in the least. As the person who loved feeling joy and was always upbeat, she could very easily tell when people were feeling down.
"You're not fooling me," Stacie gave the other woman a knowing smile, "I always know when someone's unhappy, and you're definitely that. Also, your eyes are red from crying."
"I- I was not crying!" Beca shot back defensively, earning herself a cross of the arms from Stacie and another look telling her no matter what she said to try and say otherwise, wouldn't work. "Fine, I was, but it's not a big deal; it's already happened so no point in talking about it," she sighed. "Look, I just want to go back to our room, okay?"
"I'll go with you. We should talk," Stacie shrugged. She had no intention of letting Beca off the hook that easily.
"Why are you so insistent to talk?" Beca growled as began to walk again in a hurry, hoping that Stacie would give up and let her go. But Beca forgot that because the other woman had longer legs, it wasn't a challenge for her to keep up.
"Because I know it has to do with Chloe. She's the only one that could make you this upset," the taller woman replied nonchalantly.
"That's not true," the brunette replied to the other woman, but she knew that Stacie was right - Chloe was the only person who was ever able to affect Beca so much.
"But you know I'm right," she winked before taking on a more solemn expression, "I know you and Chloe have some sort of...Thing going on. I know you love Chloe - just as she loves you-" the taller woman started to say, but the second she starting talking about Beca being with Chloe as more than just a friend, caused Beca to snap as she was not in the mood to be talking about this.
"I don't know what you're talking about. Yeah, Chloe and I flirtted with each other, but it didn't mean anything," she insisted, keeping her fake smile plastered to her face. "Besides, if I did ever feel anything for her, it's gone now," Beca added, doing everything she could to play it cool and not break down in tears for the second time today right on the spot.
"Fine, you can stay in denial all you want, but at least hear me out," Stacie let out a frustrated sigh. "And you can slow down, you know, since you can't lose me by speed walking. I have no problems keeping up."
Beca knew Stacie was right; her longer legs gave the woman an advantage over her when it came to speed and the burn in Beca's calves forced her to comply as she took on a more slow, though not lethargic, pace, but said nothing in return.
"See? I told you you can't out speed me," the taller woman shrugged.
"Just say what it is you have to say," Beca grumbled.
"I know you and Chloe definitely have a thing going on-" Stacie began.
"Had," Beca corrected her.
"Have," Stacie shushed her, "Because it's clear you two still have feelings for each other and clearly want to be together, but are just having an argument right now, which is something couples do."
"But we're not a couple, Stacie," the shorter woman stressed. "If we were, then she wouldn't be dating other guys."
"What you have is complicated, but everyone knows you two really like each other. Anyway," Stacie added quickly, before Beca could try and cut her off again, "If you two really didn't like each other anymore, this wouldn't bother you both as much as it is now. And before you try and say something like even friends would be this upset too if their friendship ended in an argument, it wouldn't be as intense as this. So don't tell me whatever you feel for Chloe is gone because it's obviously not. You're just trying to convince yourself it's gone because you're hurting and you want to move past that pain, but the only way you can do that is if you confront Chloe and sort this all out. Ignoring her and leaving things as they are now between you both will only continue to hurt each of you more," Stacie explained.
Beca didn't want to acknowledge it, but she knew deep down that Stacie was completely right. She would never move past this pain if she didn't speak to Choe, and the longer she didn't speak to the redhead, the more it affected her overall mood. However, she didn't yet want to give the other woman the satisfaction telling her that she was right.
"Yeah, whatever," Beca muttered. "I'm going back to our room."
Stacie stopped where she was, letting the shorter woman have some breathing space as she went off to find the other Bellas to hang out with. She told Beca what she needed to hear and knew that Beca knew she was right; now mending things with Chloe would be up to her.
Just as Stacie predicted, Beca knew the taller woman was right. Beca did still love Chloe as much as she wish she didn't. But being stubborn by nature, she refused to be the first to break the ice with Chloe and instead let the excruciating pain of the silence continue to settle itself between them, pushing them further apart.
Chloe wasn't doing much better than Beca; she was easily irritable and frustrated. Aubrey tried time and time again to convince Chloe to talk to Beca, but the redhead always shot her down. Whenever they argued, Chloe would withdraw and shut herself in her room, but never without Aubrey yelling to her from the living room that the only way for her to relieve herself of the high amount of stress she was under was to speak to Beca and sort out their feelings with one another.
Both Beca's and Chloe's friends urged them both to speak to one another throughout the year many times, but in vain. Both women refused to budge and denied their feelings for the other even though everyone one knew it was a huge lie.
"Come on, we need to go support them," Aubrey smiled, trying to convince Chloe to go with her to nationals to see The Barden Bellas defend their current title as champions of the National Collegiate Acapella Competition.
"You go, they don't need me there," Chloe replied, shaking her head. Though it was, of course, really Beca she had in mind. The redhead was sure Beca wouldn't want to see her there and it'd only stress the other woman out more than Chloe was sure she already was.
"No, you need to have some fun," the blonde replied. "You're already dressed for the occasion, so let's go."
"I do have fun!" Chloe retorted, "And I it'll just make things worse. You know that."
"No I don't because nothing's happened," Aubrey grinned.
"That's because I haven't gone yet, but once I do-" the redhead began before being interrupted by the other woman.
"Stop arguing and just go with me," Aubrey pulled Chloe out the door with her, all the while the other woman protesting, though not putting up a lot of resistance. Secretly Chloe did want to go and see how The Bellas would do - how Beca would do; she just wanted to see Beca have fun as she missed seeing the brunette's heart-melting smile.
"At least walk me there. If you really, really don't want to stay and are sure it'll just make you miserable, then you can come back," the blonde said, continuing to gently urge Chloe along.
"Fine, fine I'll go. But I'm going to come back after you find a seat," the redhead warned.
"Fair enough. Thank you," Aubrey sighed. Even though getting Chloe to agree to go with her was like pulling teeth, she knew the other woman did really want to see The Bellas (but mostly Beca) though she wouldn't openly admit it.
"What about here?" Chloe gestured to some empty seats, a few rows back from the seats that had been reserved for the acapella groups.
"I thought you were leaving?" The blonde smirked.
"I will, I just want to make a quick rest stop while I warm up," Chloe shrugged.
Aubrey gave the other woman a knowing smile before turning her attention to The Treblemakers who were first up. As usual, the male acapella group from Barden was a huge crowd pleaser, but it was The Bellas who performed last that made the audience go wild. Ever since they finally claimed first place at the last nationals, just mentioning their name caused a feeling of excitement wash over the people in their seats.
Chloe watched as Beca radiated exuberance and the nagging sadness that the redhead had felt ever since they had stopped talking suddenly intensified. She wanted so much to be able to make Beca that happy too - she just wanted things to go back to how they used to be.
Beca and the other Bellas filed into their seats as they patted each other on the back for another year well done. As the brunette was glancing out at the sea of people before taking her seat, she caught Chloe's eye. She froze momentarily, her smile dropping as she stared back at the redhead blankly.
"What is it?" Stacie asked, turning to see what Beca was looking at and spotted Chloe. "Go talk to her," she nudged the shorter woman.
"I don't think she wants to talk," Beca responded, before turning her back to Chloe and sat down.
"If she doesn't want to, then let her tell you that," Stacie sighed. "You two really, and I mean really, need to talk. You're going to regret it for the rest of your life if you don't."
"Can we not worry about this right now?" Beca grumbled.
"Only if you promise to speak with her," the taller woman challenged.
"I'll consider it."
"That'll do... For now," Stacie answered, dropping the subject, but she would be sure to bring it up again when they left.
Chloe sighed. She knew it - there was no way Beca wanted to reconcile; it was so stupid of her to think that maybe she had a chance to mend their friendship - or whatever was left of it, if anything.
"Where are you going?" Aubrey took hold of the redhead's arm as she tried to slip out of the crowd.
"I was just going to leave. There's no point in me being here," Chloe replied over the chatter of the other people as they anxiously awaited the results.
"Just wait a few more minutes," the blonde urged, "They're about to announce who won. Don't you want to find out?"
"The Bellas won, I have no doubt about that," Chloe's voice wavered as she knew she was about to be on the verge of tears.
"C'mon, Chloe, you stayed this long. Please just wait until it's officially announced?"
"I.. Can't," Chloe choked back on her tears.
"You can do it, Chloe. Just talk to her. Even if all you do is say hi," Aubrey flashed the other woman a sympathetic smile, and gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze.
The redhead opened her mouth to speak, but her voice was instantly drowned out by the loud cheering and clapping as the winner was announced. Both Chloe and Aubrey shifted their focus onto The Bellas, who were all jumping up and down, shouting with delight over their second consecutive win. The redhead's eyes glazed over with melancholy as she watched Beca laugh and hug her friends. Aubrey kept her eye on Chloe the whole time, knowing exactly what was going through her companion's mind. Chloe wanted so much to hug Beca, congratulate the brunette on her and The Bellas' win and to kiss her, but the redhead fought her desire to do all of that with every ounce of her being - even though it killed her inside.
"We can go now," Aubrey leaned in closer so Chloe could hear her.
The redhead nodded and began to slowly make her way through the row of people and hurried outside, where she was no longer able to hold back her tears. Aubrey pulled the redhead into a tight hug and noticed everyone else beginning to stream out of the auditorium doors as they discussed their favourite performances of the night. As the blonde watched the people flood out, she spotted The Bellas exiting and tenderly pulled Chloe away from her, the other woman's face streaked with tears.
"Chloe," she began, her voice taking on a serious tone.
"I know, I know," the redhead sniffed, trying to dry her face in her sleeves. "Wait for me here, okay?"
"I will," Aubrey smiled, "You can do it."
Chloe gave the other woman another hug before apprehensively approaching The Bellas.
Stacie saw Chloe walk towards them and pried Beca from the group as she too had noticed Chloe from her vision and was hoping that the redhead would turn around.
"Look, Beca, she's making the effort to try and solve this, so the least you can do is go talk to her," Stacie said, pushing Beca towards Chloe who had stopped a few yards away from them.
"Fine, but you have to promise to let this go after, okay? Even if it doesn't work out," Beca raised her eyebrow. "Seriously."
"Okay, just go," Stacie waving off what the shorter brunette had said, giving her a final nudge.
"I'm going!" Beca growled as Stacie kept urging her towards the redhead.
Both Chloe and Beca stood there silently facing each other for a few minutes before the brunette spoke up.
"You wanted to talk?" She shot Chloe a look telling the woman to get to the point
"I just wanted to know where we stand. That's all," Chloe answered trying her best not to shrink back and instead hold her ground.
"You hurt me, Chloe, and whenever we spoke we always argued, so I don't know I would say not a very good place," Beca crossed her arms, and could hear her growing frustration manifest itself in her voice.
"I'm only asking, Beca, you don't have to get so upset already," Chloe shot back.
Both women's defenses had put up as both were very wary of the other and didn't want to risk getting hurt. Neither wanted to be the first to really reach out and try to make things better, knowing that would put them in a vulnerable position, and they were tired of constantly battling and walking away with more wounds than they started with.
"I don't have to get upset?" The brunette hissed. "It's kind of hard to not be upset when the person who I thought was interested in me suddenly backed out right after sex," Beca began to raise her voice. "You know, it makes me wonder if that's all you wanted me for!"
"Please don't yell," Chloe tried to hush her as a few of the people around them glanced their way and whispered amongst themselves when the brunette began to shout.
Beca had become too absorbed in her conversation, (or rather argument, as it was quickly escalating to), that she had to scan the crowd that was walking by them to notice that they were indeed staring. But once the brunette made eye contact with them, they all looked away and picked up their pace to move passed the women.
"I never meant for you to feel that way," Chloe finally spoke up, trying her best to keep her cool and be more understanding of the other woman's coldness towards her. "And before you cut me off to tell me that whatever I intended doesn't matter, please, Beca, please know I am sorry. I know there's nothing I can do make you forgive me - only you can decide that; no matter how many times I apologize, it'll never be enough. I crushed you - I broke your heart - and that will always be my biggest regret."
Beca was speechless; whether it was from the tears that had begun to fall from Chloe's face as she spoke or from the sincerity in her voice, the brunette didn't know. All she was sure of that Chloe had let go of her stubborn pride and was finally saying the words she had been so afraid to say before, leaving her completely open for an attack.
"I backed out so suddenly because I was scared," the redhead continued after taking a moment to steady her breathing and her voice and dry her eyes. "Yeah, I've flirted with other women before and at times I've even been physically attracted to them, but I never went beyond meaningless fliration. So when I realized I had not only become physically attracted to you to the point where I did want to... You know, have sex, but that I actually fell for you too, that terrified me. You were the first woman I've flirted with that I also ended up becoming very close to, and it overwhelmed me. I needed to step back and make sure that I was certain of my feelings for you before I could commit to being in a serious relationship with you. However, I realize now that I didn't go about doing that in the best way; I shouldn't have kissed you or had sex with you until I figured out how I felt. This may just be another pathetic apology to you, and I know you're probably tired of hearing it, but I am sorry, Beca. I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused you because of my own selfishness. I will always be sorry. I want nothing more than for you to be happy, because your happiness is the most important thing to me. And if that means you need me out of your life, I'll leave," her lips curved upwards into a sad smile.
"Chloe, I..." Beca tried to form words, but it was as if her tongue had gone numb and she was unable to speak, but it was clear she wasn't angry or upset with the other woman from the way she held Chloe's endearing gaze with one of her own.
"Hey, sorry to quickly interrupt," Aubrey softly placed her hand on Chloe's shoulder, giving both women a pleased smile, "The others and I are going to celebrate their second victory. I'll be out for the rest of the night, so don't wait up for me," she added, giving the redhead's shoulder a squeeze as she had done when they were inside the auditorium. Except this time, it meant something completely different, and Chloe understood that immediately; it was the green light - the signal that it'd be safe to bring Beca back to their apartment with her if things continued to work out and Beca accepted Chloe's apology.
"See? I told you it'd work out!" Stacie called to Beca as she and the others left to go party somewhere, probably at the pool where the riff-offs were held.
Beca rolled her eyes and smiled as she gave a dry laugh.
"What was that about?" Chloe grinned inquisitively.
"Oh it's nothing really. Stacie's been pushing me to talk to you since..." She trailed off. "When we stopped talking for a while, it really affected my mood. I was always easily irritated and angered and I was miserable because, well, I missed you." Beca couldn't really explain why it was happening, but tears started to roll down her face just as it had happened to Chloe only moments before. "Stacie knew I was just being stubborn as I refused to admit that I still had feelings for you even though we both were adamant about not talking to each other," Beca shrugged meekly, flashing the other woman a sheepish grin.
"I missed you too," Chloe wrapped her arms around the brunette and they stood there embracing each other tightly for a few minutes until Chloe pulled away.
"Want to head back to my place?" The redhead offered. "We can just relax and talk; catch up on the months we missed. And it'll be warmer there," she noticed the goosebumps that had formed on Beca's arms, and so she slipped off her jacket and draped it around the other woman's shoulders to warm her up.
"Sounds like a plan," the brunette nodded, slipping her arm into Chloe's as the headed off.
"Make yourself at home," Chloe motioned for the other woman to go inside once she had opened the door.
The redhead took a seat beside Beca on the couch after locking the door behind her.
"Hey, Chloe..?" Beca asked tentatively.
"Those guys you were were dating... Did you even like them?"
"No," Chloe shook her head, "I didn't. After you left the apartment that day, I was hoping that maybe I could convince myself that I didn't like you as much as I do, so I agreed to date them when they asked me. It never worked because, of course, and so I always broke up with them a few days later. I would barely even call them boyfriends as the relationships were so short lived. I guess you could just consider them guys I hooked up with for a few days," she shrugged.
Beca raised her eyebrows causing Chloe to instantly clarify.
"No, no, I don't mean sex," the redhead promised, "I actually haven't had sex since you," she admitted as if it were something to be ashamed of. "What about you and Jesse? I thought you two got back together even though you were arguing or something like that?"
The brunette gave a terse laugh at the thought of trying to make that relationship work again. "No, we didn't. When I broke up with him, it was for good. Besides, I'm gay. I think I always kind of knew since I've only ever been attracted to other women, but I always shrugged it off, thinking that they were just silly girl crushes. When I met Jesse and really started to hit it off with him, I mistook my growing feelings of a strong friendship as something more. I thought that I had found a guy that I would date and eventually fall in love with, but clearly I was wrong. After things ended badly between us - as in you and me - I went to go talk to him. I explained that the reason I stopped liking him in that way was because I fell for you, and because I finally realized - and accepted - that I would never love another guy as more than a good friend because I'm, well, gay. And that's also why I got so mad when I saw you with those guys you were dating. I was jealous and wanted you to myself, but I didn't actually want to admit it," Beca let out a nervous chuckle.
The two of them sat there and laughed over the whole misunderstanding and went through another round of apologies for their senseless arguing before hugging each other.
"Hey, can I use your shower?" Beca asked. "Having to do all that singing and moving around on stage made me really hot. And having those bright lights on me the whole time didn't help," a self-conscious grin spread across her face.
"Yeah, of course!" Chloe got to her feet and walked over to the closet that was adjacent to the bathroom.
Beca stood up as well, and took the towel that the other woman handed her as she walked into the bathroom. Chloe leaned against the wall beside the door and stared out the living room window that was across the room. She was both relieved and overjoyed beyond words that things were able to work out between her and Beca. She wasn't sure what they were now as they had both admitted, though in passing, that they still had feelings for each other, but that matter could wait until another day. All that Chloe cared about in that moment that she and Beca were on friendly terms once again.
She pushed herself off the wall and was about to go get her coat that was on the couch where Beca had left it and hang it up when she heard a very familiar tune.
"I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose. Fire away, fire away," Beca's confident voice rang out from the other side of the bathroom door.
When the brunette began singing the next line of the chorus to Titanium, Chloe couldn't resist the temptation to relive the memory of the first day that she heard Beca singing in the shower at Barden University and, barging in on the startled woman, demanded that she join The Bellas. And so Chloe did just that as she opened the bathroom door walking right in as Beca ceased her singing and whipped around, clinging to the towel as she covered herself.
"Oh my god, Chloe!" She shouted.
Chloe only laughed at how perfect the brunette's response was; nearly identical to the first time this happened to her. Beca couldn't hold her shocked expression for long as she, too, burst into laughter.
"Just like when I convinced you to come to the auditions," Chloe grinned.
"Oh shut up," Beca tried to playfully push the redhead out of the bathroom, "Come on, I'm trying to take a shower here."
"I won't leave until you sing," Chloe stood her ground, her hands on her hips.
"Ricochet, you take your aim," Beca started to sing again, though unlike the first time Chloe insisted she sing, Beca found herself with a foolish smile on her face. She had to admit she was enjoying the moment - how everything was coming back in a full circle with Chloe standing there, refusing to budge until she sang with her - the day that marked the beginning of their friendship.
"Fire away, fire away," they both sang with Chloe smiling triumphantly as she took the harmony like she had the first time they did the song together.
When they had reached the last note, Chloe pulled on one of Beca's arms, bringing the other woman closer and into a kiss.
"You're sure this time?" Beca quirked her eyebrow at the other woman teasingly as she let go of the towel, which fell to the floor around her as she placed her hands on the redhead's waist.
"I'm definitely sure. I don't want you with anyone else," Chloe murmured.
Beca, pleased with the answer (though had no doubt that would be the redhead's response), hooked her fingers onto the other woman's pants as she skillfully undid the button before sliding them down (along with her underwear) Chloe's slender legs. Chloe stepped out of her pants, leaving them scrunched up at her feet as she pulled her shirt over her head, which she had just barely removed when Beca swiftly unhooked her bra.
Beca tugged on Chloe's arm, pulling the woman into the shower with her as they exchanged fervent kisses. Chloe wasted no time in backing the brunette against the shower's tile wall, her left arm pressed against it for support, as she nibbled and licked Beca's neck and the outer shell of her ear, eliciting a low groan of pleasure from the brunette. With her free hand, Chloe slid it leisurely down Beca's body, over the hill of her breast, the flat of her stomach and lightly traced the rise of her hip bone. The redhead had no issue sliding her fingers inside of Beca, who was already soaked and instantly tightened around Chloe's fingers.
"Oh god, Chloe," Beca groaned, one of her hands becoming entangled in Chloe's curly, ginger locks that had been plastered to her scalp and face from the water. The brunette's other hand trailed its way across the nape of Chloe's neck, snaking around to the front of her body and brushed along the length of her collarbone before moving farther south.
Chloe let out a gasp as she felt Beca's warm hand squeeze her breast, pinching and tugging gently at her nipple, causing Chloe's fingers to thrust in deeper, harder and faster. Beca's hips rocked to the rhythm of the redhead's hand as Chloe pulled away from where she had left a crimson hickey on the base of her neck and gave Beca amorous kisses, their tongues wrestling for dominance. Their lungs burned for oxygen, but neither woman was willing to break the chain of kisses just yet.
"Christ, Chloe, I'm going to come," Beca pulled away momentarily as she gasped for air.
"Already?" Chloe teased.
"I can't help it. I've been waiting for this for too long," the brunette hissed, earning herself a satisfied grin from Chloe who had resumed kissing her; lips, neck, chest.
Beca's body shuddered violently as the orgasm tore through her, an audible moan escaped her lips, now swollen from all the kisses. She leaned against Chloe for support as the other woman held her closely.
Beca pulled back far enough so she could meet the other woman's gaze. "No more misunderstandings. Just talk to me if you're unsure of something, okay?"
"I will. I promise," Chloe swore.
"Good. You're stuck with me, now, whether you like it or not," Beca purred.
"I'm perfectly okay with this. I love you," Chloe murmured, her voice muffled by Beca's dark hazel brown hair.
"I love you too," Beca smiled up at Chloe as she went in for another kiss, which Chloe was happy to comply with.